Evan Shirley was always front-and-center.
Until recently, Shirley, who died March 27 at age 73, was a fixture at University of Hawaii athletic events.
He was very noticeable at the Stan Sheriff Center. Shirley always sat a few rows behind the scorer’s table, right at center court.
“Evan was a great fan and a kind man,” UH athletic director David Matlin said. “I remember him back from my ticket office days when he had season tickets for several sports. I could always count on Evan for a fist bump after a Rainbow Warrior or Wahine victory. He will be missed.”
I met Shirley through one of my favorite teachers at UH, Tom “Tiny” Jordan. Jordan, who taught media law, sat next to Shirley at UH games before Jordan died in 1991. Shirley and Jordan had been law partners at one time.
What I remember most about both of them is they were constantly smiling and cracking jokes, and that they loved UH sports.
Services were held in Southern California for Wilbert Haslip on Saturday. Haslip, an outstanding power back on Dick Tomey‘s first UH teams in the late 1970s, died last month at age 62.
Teammate Nicky Clark, who carpooled with fellow Rainbow running backs Gary Allen and David Toloumu, to Haslip’s funeral, described “Bullet” as a man of character who was beloved and respected by teammates.
“Never bragged. Was always humble,” Clark said. “He was always the guy to say, ‘Hey man, that’s not right. Let’s help them out.'”
Haslip had suffered two strokes, Clark said, but still “battled to be a competent father” to two teenage sons.